Lib Dem clean sweep with three by-election gains, including a 54% swing from Labour

Four council by-elections this cold week, all in southern England. They come with the neat simplicity of one defence each for Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats and Ukip. A neat simplicity of results too: all won by the Liberal Democrats in the party’s best council by-election night for a long time.

Congratulations to Helen Rujbally and the team for such a comfortable win in a ward where the six previous contests have three times gone Lib Dem and three times Conservative.

Even more congratulations however to Stephen Hammond and the Gosport team for quite some swing (54%!) in gaining a seat from Labour:

The size of the swing has been rather helped by the fact this was the first time ever the party has fought the ward since its creation back in 2002. But that makes the win all the more dramatic.

Over in Devon, in part of the country that served up one of the Liberal Party’s most famous Parliamentary by-election wins, Cheryl Cottle-Hunkin and the team won the ward:

Again, the first time the Liberal Democrats have won here since the ward’s creation (2003 in this case). And thankfully no photos of mice involved this time.

Finally, a stonking results in Maidstone which means that the minority Liberal Democrat administration on the council is now also the largest party:

Congratulations to Rob Field on regaining the seat in what had been a solidly Lib Dem (/Alliance/Liberal) ward all the way from its creation in 1979 through to 2015.

Worth noting also, by the way, just how bad the Ukip set of results was, once again. Something BBC’s Question Time doesn’t seem to have caught up with yet with its continuing fondness for having a Ukip guest on.

Sal Brinton, President of the Liberal Democrats, said of the results:

The Liberal Democrats, under Vince Cable, are winning seats up and down the country and against all opposition.

Our local campaigning is second to none, and the hard work of Lib Dem councillors and activists is being recognised in surges of support in by-elections across the country.

With the 2018 local elections just around the corner, the Liberal Democrats have never been more up for the fight.

These by-election results round-ups cover principal authority by-elections. See my post The danger in celebrating parish and town council wins for your own party for the reasons to avoid straying too often into covering town, parish or community council by-elections.

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